Here is a nice medium-sized tote I designed to, well, carry around my stuff in. Though it is fairly simple in design, the stitch pattern I used to create the "woven" look requires constant repetitive cabling, which might take a while. Still, I believe it is a stitch that, aside from looking neat, gives added durability to the bag.
For this project, I used #4 medium worsted wool in a main colour, and 2 contrasting colours, 4.5mm needles, fabric to create a lining, a tapestry needle, a sewing needle and a sewing machine and thread. For the handle, I used weaving fabric.
Abbreviations Used in this Pattern:
sts = stitches
K = knit (k4 = knit 4 stitches)
P = purl (p4 = purl 4 stitches)
Cb2o2 = Cable 2 stitches over the next 2 stitches.
Cb2u2 = Cable 2 stitches under the next 2 stitches.
MC = Main colour (MC(k4) = knit 4 stitches in main colour).
C2 = Colour 2 (C2(k4) = knit 4 stitches in colour 2).
C3 = Colour 3 (C3(k4) = knit 4 stitches in colour 4).
Main Piece:With 4.5mm needles, cast on 90 sts in MC.
First 10 rows: knit front-side, purl reverse-side.
Row 11: p1, knit to just before last st. P1.
Row 12: k1, [C2(p2), MC(p2), C3(p2), MC(p2)]x2, MC(p4), C2(p2), MC(p2), C3(p2), MC(p16), C2(p2), MC(p2), C3(p2), MC(p2), C2(p2), MC(purl to just before last stitch, k1).
*Note: from this point on, continue to work each stitch in the colour that it is already in.
Row 13: p1, *cb202, repeat from * to just before last stitch. P1.
Row 14: k1, purl to just before last stitch. K1.
Row 15: p1, k2, *cb2u2, repeat from * to last 3 stitches. K2, p1.
Row 16: k1, purl to just before last stitch. K1.
Repeat rows 13-16 until work reaches 61cm (just over 24 inches).
Next row: All in MC(p1, knit to just before last stitch, p1).
Next 10 rows: purl reverse-side, knit front-side.
Take main piece, and fold in half with reverse-side facing outward, and sew up the side edges, but do not sew up the edges of the last 10 rows from each end.
Using weaving fabric (shown in right image), cut 2 sections measuring at least 82cm (about 32 inches), and knot ends together with a third fabric piece taken directly from the source (note, the length of the third piece is difficult to determine, as the amount needed depends on how tight the weaving is done, but it is at least 4 times the length of the other 2 pieces, hence my suggestion to use it directly from the source without cutting it until finished).
With the third, longer section, weave the fabric over the first of the two shorter pieces, then under the second, bringing the fabric around and to the front of the second piece, then under the first piece (see image below (Note: in the image, I've used yarn for the shorter pieces instead of the fabric to help make the weaving easier to see)). Be sure to "tighten" the weaving as you go, pushing it upward toward the knot. Continue doing this until reaching near the end, leaving enough room to knot off the three pieces.
Sew the ends of the handle together. This part of each of the handles will go under one of the ends of the main knitting piece (the last 10 rows). Then, with a tapestry needle, that portion of the knitted main piece is then folded over the handle to meet and be connected to the reverse-side of the main piece (see image below).
Cut 2 pieces of fabric measuring at least 5cm (about 2 inches) longer than the length and width of the bag. Now, I am a knitter, not a sewer, so I am not going to presume to tell you how to properly sew up lining. I will say, though, that I sewed up the side and bottom edges of the two pieces of fabric inside-out. Next, with the lining turned right-side out, I inserted the bag, inside-out, into the lining, and then proceeded to stitch the top edge of the lining (by hand) to the bottom of each knitting "flap" that now covered a portion of each handle.
Turn bag right-side out, and enjoy.